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Hamilton County, New York

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Hamilton County, New York

Hamilton County, New York
Hamilton County Courthouse and Clerks Office
Map of New York highlighting Hamilton County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded 1816
Named for Alexander Hamilton
Seat Lake Pleasant
Largest town Indian Lake
 • Total 1,808 sq mi (4,683 km2)
 • Land 1,720 sq mi (4,455 km2)
 • Water 87 sq mi (225 km2), 4.84%
 • (2010) 4,836
 • Density 3/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district 21st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .com.hamiltoncountywww

Hamilton County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,836,[1] making it the least populous county in New York. Its county seat is Lake Pleasant.[2] The county is named after Alexander Hamilton,[3] the only member of the New York State delegation who signed the United States Constitution in 1787 and later the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Hamilton County is one of only two counties that lie entirely within the Adirondack Park (Essex is the other). It is also the most sparsely populated county in the eastern half of the United States, with a population density of just over three people per square mile. (The easternmost county with a population density less than Hamilton County is Kenedy County in southern Texas.) There is no permanent traffic light in the county.


For the history of Hamilton County prior to 1816 see Montgomery County, New York

On April 12, 1816, Hamilton County was created by partitioning 1,800 square miles (4,700 km2) from Montgomery County,[4] but due to low population it remained unorganized and administered from Montgomery County, N.Y. until it was recognized as sufficiently organized for self-government on January 1, 1838.[5] The organization process was completed by Summer of 1847.[6]

On April 6, 1860, Fulton County was partitioned, with 10 square miles (26 km2) of land in Sacandaga Park transferred to Hamilton County.[7]

On May 24, 1915, land was swapped between Hamilton and Essex counties, with Hamilton ceding Fishing Brook Mountain for Indian Lake. Hamilton gained an additional 20 square miles (52 km2), whereas Essex County lost 30 square miles (78 km2). This left Hamilton with its present size of 1,830 square miles (4,700 km2)[8]

The former town of Gilman was dissolved in 1860. The original county seat was Sageville, now part of Lake Pleasant.


Road map of Hamilton County

Hamilton County is in the north central part of the state, northwest of Albany. It lies entirely within Adirondack Park and consists mostly of publicly owned parkland.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,808 square miles (4,700 km2), of which 1,720 square miles (4,500 km2) is land and 87 square miles (230 km2) (4.84%) is water.[9]

The snowfall in Hamilton County averages 100 inches (2,500 mm) per year.

Adjacent counties


As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 5,379 people, 2,362 households, and 1,558 families residing in the county. The population density was 1/km² (3/sq mi); both the total population and population density rank lowest in the state of New York. There were 7,965 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.73% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.9% were of Irish, 15.7% German, 15.2% English, 10.9% French, 7.3% American and 5.7% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 97.5% spoke English and 1.7% French as their first language.

There were 2,362 households out of which 23.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 6.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were non-families. 29.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the county the population was spread out with 19.70% under the age of 18, 5.20% from 18 to 24, 24.20% from 25 to 44, 30.90% from 45 to 64, and 20.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,287, and the median income for a family was $39,676. Males had a median income of $29,177 versus $21,849 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,643. About 6.00% of families and 10.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 8.70% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

The county is the most consistently Republican of New York State. In the last 23 Presidential elections the Republican candidate lost only once, when Barry Goldwater, in 1964, failed to win a single county in the state.[12] In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, John McCain carried Hamilton County by a 26.9% margin over Barack Obama, with Obama winning statewide by a virtually equal margin over McCain.[13] Hamilton gave McCain the highest margin of victory in the state.[14]

In state elections it was the only county to be won by Howard Mills over incumbent Chuck Schumer in the 2004 U.S. Senate election. It also voted for John Faso over Eliot Spitzer for Governor in 2006, and for John Spencer 55.5%-42.1% over incumbent Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate in 2006. It was one of only a handful of counties outside Western New York to have voted for Carl Paladino over eventual winner Andrew Cuomo for Governor in 2010.

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, however, won the county in her bid to be elected for a full term to the U.S. Senate in 2012.[15]

Towns, villages, and other locations

Label in parentheses indicates official political designation

County information

Hamilton County lost 10.1 percent of its population from the year 2000 to the year 2010. Tourism, government and education are the three largest employers of those working in Hamilton County. There are zero colleges and/or institutions of higher learning. The only two colleges in the Adirondack State Park are: Paul Smith's College in Franklin County and North Country Community College in Essex County. Because of its situation in the Adirondack Park, any development in the county is severely hampered by the New York State Constitution, which designates the park as "forever wild."



The following public use airports are located in the county:[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 147. 
  4. ^ New York. Laws of New York;1816; 39th Session; Chapter 120; Section 1; Page 16.
  5. ^ New York. Laws of New York;1837; 60th Session; Chapter 238; Section 1; Page 227.
  6. ^ Aber, Ted, and King, Stella (1965). History of Hamilton County.  
  7. ^ New York. Laws of New York;1860; 83rd Session; Chapter 178; Page 298.
  8. ^ New York. Laws of New York;1915; 138th Session; Chapter 718; Section 1; Page 2364.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  12. ^ Geographie Electorale
  13. ^ U.S. Election Atlas
  14. ^ CNN Election Results for New York
  15. ^ The county backs Gillibrand
  16. ^ Hamilton County Public and Private Airports, New York. Retrieved June 13, 2013.

External links

  • Hamilton County Information
  • More county data
  • Hamilton County at DMOZ
  • Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce
  • Brief history

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